Steely Dan Sunday, “Circus Money” (2008)

<<< BACKWARD (“Paging Audrey”) ||| ONWARD (“Selfish Gene”) >>>


Last week Victor explored the brilliant track “Paging Audrey” and declared it the most Steely Dan-like track on Walter Becker’s solo album, Circus Money. By contrast, the title track may represent the least Steely Dan like.

Becker and producer Larry Klein built on an environment which centers on drummer Keith Carlock’s marching band-like drum roll and the dirge-y bass track provided by Larry Klein in his only musical appearance on the album.

Becker’s distorted lead vocals hover eerily in the air yet he vividly paint the picture of a freak show as seen through the eyes of Becker (i.e. ‘Little Walter’) as a child. Funny? Sick? Twisted? Yes! Pure Becker too. Throw in another memorable tenor sax solo from Chris Potter and you have another twisted gem from Walter Becker and his only solo composition on the album.

Just when you feel it can’t get any better than “Paging Audrey” or Circus Money” you hear the next song, “Selfish Gene.” Here’s a teaser of that track from Walter himself…

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Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at
Preston Frazier

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  • DoctorMu

    I love Walter’s stuff, but this is not his best.

  • DoctorMu

    Can’t post on the next song review, but Selfish Gene is brilliant. Explains Richard Dawkins’ biobehavioral theories better than he does!